International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunology
What is an IMPRS?
Since 2000, the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) have become a permanent part of the Max Planck Society’s efforts to support and promote Ph.D. students. Talented German and foreign junior scientists are offered the opportunity to earn a doctorate under excellent research conditions.
Currently, there are 68 IMPRS. The research schools are established by one or several Max Planck Institutes in collaboration with a university, as well as other research institutions, sometimes abroad. This provides an extraordinary framework for the graduate students to work in, and is a great advantage in interdisciplinary research projects, or in projects that require special equipment. Currently 82 institutes are associated with an IMPRS.
The IMPRS-IDI was founded in 2005, and renewed in 2011 and 2017 as a joint initiative of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology and the Faculty of Life Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), and now also includes the Freie Universität Berlin (FU, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine) and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin as cooperation partners. The school’s PhD candidates are based at one of these institutions as well as several other internationally recognized research institutes and bodies in Berlin – Technische Universität Berlin (TU), the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens (MPUSP), the German Rheumatism Research Centre (DRFZ), the Robert Koch Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces (MPIKG).
The IMPRS-IDI is a vibrant international doctoral program with about 60-70 doctoral candidates from more than 20 different countries. Our faculty members are affiliated with internationally renowned research institutes in Berlin as well as the Berlin universities. Our PhD candidates work on research projects analyzing the genetic, molecular, biochemical, cellular, organismal and evolutionary basis of infections and immune reactions, as well as the epidemiology of infectious diseases.
Whilst excellent research is a central part of our program, the other core goal is to provide our doctoral candidates with an excellent education through a dedicated curriculum and access to the most relevant training opportunities to ensure our graduates enter the global job market as well-rounded highly competitive specialists in the field of infection biology and immunology. The mission of the IMPRS-IDI is to recruit excellent international and national graduates, and to develop our doctoral candidates into creative, responsible and self-confident young researchers. The IMPRS-IDI acts as a platform to encourage continuous networking and scientific exchange as an integral part of our doctoral candidates’ training.
Connection to Universities and other Graduate Schools
The Max Planck Society is a non-university research organization. In Germany, only universities can award the academic title of PhD or Dr. rer. nat. If you graduate in the IMPRS-IDI, you will be registered and enrolled at one of the Berlin universities to get the doctoral title.
As a member of the IMPRS-IDI, our students can also access the educational offers of the Graduate schools of Freie Universität (Dahlem Research School) and the Humboldt Universität (Humboldt Graduate School). Most of the courses offered are free of charge.
Our graduate program is part of a wider network of graduate schools in the areas of infectious diseases, (chronic) inflammation and immunity in Berlin. Our most important partner is the “ZIBI Graduate School Berlin”, which is the primary activity of the Center for Infection Biology and Immunity (“Zentrum für Infektionsbiologie und Immunologie”) and groups 6 graduate programs, including the IMPRS-IDI, with overlapping research focus and curricular demands under its umbrella. This network creates local synergies and expands our PhD candidates network, and we organise some of our curricular events together. We also collaborate with other IMPRS and Berlin graduate schools such as the Berlin Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies to give our PhD candidates a wider range of course offers.